As 2022 comes to an end, I look back over the events of the year with much glad tidings over the accomplishments of the OLBA membership and their clubs.
With the support of Steve Schuknecht and his band of volunteers we successfully held District Championships, Provincial Championships, National Championships. At the club level recruitment drives were initiated that have not been equalled in recent memory, and we have seen the restrictions of COVIID lifted at the club level to provide coaching, and lots of jitney events which form the backbone of the activities for the enjoyment of our membership.
In addition most OLBA clubs participated in the raising of much needed funds in support of their local charities.
As we look forward to 2023, the OLBA will embark on the implementation of the replacement of our long standing data base management system with a new cloud based Sports Association Management (SAM) product by subscription to Ricon. This data base system will provide all clubs with real time access to their membership and tournament data not previously available within the confines of the existing system.
The OLBA Board has appointed Rob Galipeau, Executive Director and Project Manager, to oversee the implementation of “SAM” over the coming months which will go live at the beginning of the upcoming bowling season.
As is the case in the coming year our biggest challenge will continue to be the recruitment and retention of membership. As we finalize the budget for 2023 you will notice that in the coming year there will be renewed emphasis on coach and umpire development opportunities at both the club and provincial levels.
You also should be aware that through the huge effort of Ralph Ellis, Vice President and Grants Director and those volunteers at the club level who have worked the grant application process in 2022 it was possible to raise over $1,800,000 through the various government support programs offered by Trillium, New Horizons and the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund. Not all clubs were successful in their applications and many clubs did not make an application for support this year.
I would ask that in 2023, all clubs review their equipment needs, club facility requirements, and membership support programs to identify how these programs can be utilised in support of your clubs membership needs.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank your Board of Directors for the amazing effort they have contributed into making lawn bowling the great sport option that it is and look forward to 2023 with much enthusiasm as we continue to grow.
Sincerely on behalf of the Board, thanx.